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Why I’m Not Making a New Year’s Resolution to Be 'Less Depressed'

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I have struggled with bipolar depression my entire life. I can achieve great success and I can also come close to dying by suicide — but depression doesn’t really care either way. It needs to control me. But thankfully, throughout the years and with the help of the right social supports, I have been able to manage it and even learn to appreciate it. 

That last part might confuse many people because depression kills and is a liar and so forth, so how can anyone appreciate that? Well, of course, depression can be all of those things, but it is also so much more. It can be life-ending, but from my personal experience, it can bring forth a more authentic and nuanced way of viewing life. 

Which brings me to my views on New Year’s resolutions. Although they can be motivational factors that can lead people to set goals and work towards achieving them, I’ve found they almost always set me up for less-than-success. My number one resolution over the years has been to be less depressed. What does that actually mean? I still haven’t found out, to be honest. Does it mean getting more sleep, eating better or getting more exercise? Does it mean seeing a therapist or changing my psych meds? Or does it mean telling my story publicly and becoming an “inspiration” for others? I don’t know! 

Because as noble as all of those pursuits are, I have yet to find a winning formula that actually makes me less depressed. So even though I have tried so hard new year after new year, I have decided to let go of the idea of “defeating” depression. I am depressed right now. I will be depressed next year. And next decade. And I’m OK with that. I can live with it and not be controlled by it. And that’s probably the least depressing part of it! 

So what is my New Year’s resolution for 2020, asked no one in particular? 


How about this?

I just want to be more of myself.

Photo by Eduardo Dutra on Unsplash

Originally published: December 28, 2019
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